Tuesday, June 20

Ministry Happens

I originally got this from Jon Dale's blog "chasing the wild goose." The "Ministry Happens" thought comes from a Mark Batterson message entitled Wild Goose Chase.

One of my mottos is "ministry happens." I think that at least 90% of the ministry that happens in the gospels is spontaneous. Jesus was headed from one place to another and an opportunity would present itself. Jesus was willing to get off the beaten path and take the road less traveled. He didn't see them as detours or dead ends. Too often we mistake human interruptions for divine appointments.

A.W. Tozer said that one of the greatest dangers facing the church was what he called "the dictatorship of the routine" when "everything can be predicted and nobody expects anything unusual from God." We need a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's prompting so that we can seize opportunities as they present themselves. Spontaneity is part of spirituality. In the words of Winston Churchill, "Planning is important. Plans are useless."
For people like me geared toward intentional ministry the above thoughts are a needed reflection. Am I too busy to take time for someone interrupting "my ministry?" Am I so geared towards that 10% intentional ministry that I overlook the 90% God sets in my path daily?

Is not that 90% as much "real ministry" as the 10% I set out to accomplish?

"Intentional ministry" people often hide behind the excuse of thinking we are too busy with "real ministry." We simply do not have time for unplanned "spontaneous ministry." The reality though is we view our own agenda as more important than the needs of others. Their need for feedback and/or attention is viewed as detrimental to our accomplishing our more important intentional ministry agenda.

Was that Christ's attitude who often left the crowds and made time to go eat at Zaccheus' house? Healing blind beggar Bartimaeus? Stopping in his tracks on his way to a resurrection when the woman touched the hem of his robe? Taking time for the children, leaving the crowds to wait? 90% of ministry happens when we seize those spontaneous opportunities that come disguised as detours or interruptions.


El Perro said...

Bendiciones Hermano!!!
Cuanta razón hay en esto! Es curioso como podemos preparar y/o elaborar cuidadosamente un "plan de evangelismo" pero no podemos compartir nuestra vida con aquellos a quienes queremos alcanzar con dicho "plan"... me recordó un poco algo que escribí hace un par de semanas:

Ken Sorrell said...


Your killing me! If you keep this up I may feel called into missions or something. Seriously, your post reminds me that Jesus was never in a hurry and never had to pull out his PDA to see if He could fit someone in. At the same time, He never promised to make time for everyone if it prevented Him from doing what the Father had sent Him to do. Look at the story found in Mark 1:29-39. The struggle I have is not responding to spontaneous events, but determining if these unplanned interruptions are divine appointments of a devious plan to keep me doing good and distracted from doing the best.

GuyMuse said...

Hno. "el perro",

Excelente articulo que has escrito. Lo que dices es muy verdad, ¿Quieres ganar a alguien para Cristo? No lo invites a un culto de evangelismo... invítales a ver un partido de fútbol o una película; a jugar billar o pasear en bicicleta... simplemente invítales a pasar tiempo contigo... ¿Cuándo vienes a ayudarnos aca en el Ecuador? :-)


I know what you mean by the difference between knowing if this "interruption" is of God or Satan? Satan too can mess with us and get us to do all kinds of things that are not "divine appointments."

negrito said...

I used to resent the interruptions to my planned schedule until God showed me that often the interruptions are HIS schedule. In the busyness of the last year I think I forgot this. A timely reminder. Thanks

Wayne said...

How about scheduling time just to hang out? Scheduled spontaneity?

Seriously, I think it's Jim Peterson who brings up the need for margin in our lives - that most of us are too busy to really disciple people.

Thanks for the reminder to seize opportunities.

mr. t said...

I agree with your premise, but I still resent interruptions in my schedule. It is too easy to say to myself, "no this can't be God at work, I must keep my agenda."

GuyMuse said...

Negrito, Wayne, Mr. T,

Sounds like we're all on the same page together about this. Good comments all. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I read somewhere recently about the need for balance as long as we understand Jesus is Lord and has the right to "interfere" whenever it suits Him!

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